Ex-chairman stays on board

17:00, Sep 27 2012

As expected, Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden is to stay on the board after he stands down as the big cheese of the dairy giant in December.

Chairman elect, Waikato farmer John Wilson, said Sir Henry would stay on "for the first part of next year" to provide continuity and experience around the top table while New Zealand's biggest company implements share Trading Among Farmers (TAF).

For the same reason, non-farmer appointed director Ralph Waters will extend his term for up to six months beyond the 2012 annual meeting in December.

Waters' extended appointment will need to be supported by Fonterra's farmer-owners at the annual meeting.

The process to find a replacement for Waters was under way, Wilson said.

Sir Henry would stay on in line with his normal farmer-elected term which runs to next year's December annual meeting, but it was unlikely it would be necessary for him to serve that long, Wilson said.

TAF, part of a major capital restructure of Fonterra, is on track for launch before Christmas, Sir Henry said this week.

TAF, designed to provide the farmer-owned co-operative with permanent capital so the $19 billion company itself no longer has to trade its farmers' shares, involves offering the public NZX-listed units in farmer-owned shares.

Farmer watchdog, the Fonterra Shareholder Council said the board's decision to retain Sir Henry and Waters into 2013 would provide stability for the TAF introduction.


Waikato Times